Wednesday, August 04, 2010

When There Are No Words....


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I look at this woman......The Tension, the Fatigue, the Fight, the Spirit, the Question of "When Does this End ?" ...the Look in her eyes...It could be a mirror....It could be me....( It's not me...it's a Migrant Worker from the Depression....captured in time by Dorthea Lange).

I have always tried to be hopeful,even when blogging, writing about about the Worst of Anything. Even blogging all through the Titannical Bush Years. I tried to keep Perspective and even a sense of humor...and even tried to keep my wits...tried to stay strong...When you live with a Teenager you worry that you will set the wrong example, you realize What you do teaches irreplacable Life Lessons. When my son and I lived in one room in a rooming house in California, and our clothes were stolen from the Laundry Mat, I tried to explain to my son that Someone Must be in worst Straights than Us.And if the Pipes broke and flooded the Basement in the 1894 Rental... I tried to use that as yet another "Fix It" Lesson with my "Tool Purse". ( At this point I could write books on "Why Redheads should Not be Plumbers"). When our rented Loft downtown got Foreclosed and we had 2 weeks to move and it was Zero Degrees and January, I made awful jokes about Why Siberians Don't even Move in Winter.....I even made jokes about how ludicrous a Nurse should work at a grocery store in an attempt to get Health Insurance....I even made jokes when the said grocery store made us wear coats and fingerless gloves, rather than spend money on Fixing the Heater.( I called that the Bush Repair Program).

When my son and I left the Downtown Loft we moved into an old Battered Side By Side in an old tree-lined street in an older neighborhood 2 miles from the heart of DownTown. An 1894 Trolley House that is full of challenges.My hood was originally full of working class families and College and grad students. But months after coming here slowly things started to change....I know that we have been told that the "Recession" started in 2008. But it started long before that, in 2006 or 2007. I am haunted that Bush could not even say the "R " word, and the Media let him get away with it. While he could not say the "R" word, people in my hood were losing Homes, and jobs and cars and yes, Hope and Dreams.

Over the years I have blogged about watching furniture being dragged to the Curb and watching men restlessly do yard work and quietly and with shameladen faces use Food Stamps at the little market. And Old People from my hood pay for meager soup meals with change in coffee cans. I have made brownies for families as I said goodbye and helped them pack. I have watched students move home, because they could not find jobs.I have taken soup to families sleeping in cars at end of street.I have cared for stray animals left behind.I have met most of the Metal Men who scavenge our streets on Sunday night. I have watched other students move home because there were no loans and not enough money.....I too am living with a son who should be in college, but financially there is not a path right now, he knows the realities, yet he keeps reading and studying, and that tugs at my heart. And I know that there are thousands of young people who have been effected by this, their lives changed.

I have watched two neighbors die without Health Insurance and without Care, the one lady died alone. I still have trouble walking by those houses. The one house they lost the house because they had a reverse mortgage, that had been set up in case they had a medical emergency. And over time, there have been more and more houses. I even lost neighbors who were renting, because their landlords got foreclosed. And over time it got be that I would walk my dog and listen to Music or watch birds and squirrels because there was no one to greet or talk to. And the Empty Houses looked as lonely as I felt......
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{*Depression Photo Russell Lee-did not want to post photos of homes from hood,as it might embarass struggling neighbors}

And I thought I was OK....working perdiem and odd jobs and keeping the routine of taking care of my son, walking the dog, applying for jobs every week and even keeping my house tidy, that the routines would shield me from the Reality......

Now in the Midst of all this I lost two jobs....and while everything was busy breaking in June ( Car , Computer, the Thugs that took apart my railing.... etc....etc...)

Then The Census Worker came.....and she said that she was having trouble getting people to answer the doors to finish our Street. So we walked the street and I explained House by House the situation. "That was where a Teacher lived-he got laid off and foreclosed". " That is where a nurse and medtech lived-but they lost their house-it's been foreclosed, or for sale for over 2 years." ( If they take the Mail box off the house that is a good hint that the family is gone). She was stunned, " I had no idea that so many homes had been lost" . We talked about the level of Loss of Homes and jobs and how they were intertwined, and how they were all hardworking families, living in old homes, none were living beyond their means.We talked about how it was all intertwined, the jobs, the healthcare crisis, the Economy that has hurt so many.I told her that I had canvassed for Obama so I knew my hood really well, that it had seemed to slowly change, but that I now realized that so much had changed since that Winter when homes still had families....

I watched her write down the information, house by house carefully Documenting the Damage and we both silently wondered if the devastation can really be documented fully ? What was it like in the 30's ? It's hard to document the Damage and the quiet desolation of the Empty Houses is deafening......
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And in the midst of this Vast Emptiness....the Street of Goodbyes,And the Summer of Broken Things...... I also have had to face Myself. That the MS is not going away....it's Real, it's part of my life...in a Broken Frustrating way.... There are things I can not do, and that are getting too hard and harder by the day and just like facing the Empty Houses I have to admit that Rickety Old Stairs and a Huge Hill are making my life miserable.And that I can not "fix" it...or me. And that does not mean I am weak or whining...it means that things Change.....I need to find other ways to be Strong, that means live in a different place and yes even look at NonNursing Jobs as a Reality....it means giving up...and letting go.It means finding other ways to reach dreams and goals. It means that sometimes being Broken effects others....and saying I am sorry to my son in a 1000 different ways....That I will still help him reach his goals and dreams...but we need to do it Another Way....

And it took me two months of Silence to make Peace with That Reality.... There were No Words.....
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To all of those that offered to listen to talk and were and are so kind I can only say thank you. I just had to get through it alone, it is how I cope and work through things,especially when the struggle is at it's heaviest, I can not bear to burden others with my problems.I also in some ways guilty for posting this when so many others are suffering,especially those in the Gulf and Haiti,but I know others are also struggling during these times.I also need to say I am sorry but if you emailed me in May or June I was hacked and didn't get alot of my mail...so again I apologize.... But I remain grateful to all....very much so. I continue to try to find my grace during this period...thank you and I apologize...

32 comments:

D.B. Echo said...

I can think of nothing else to say than this: I have missed you.

D.K. Raed said...

This really tugs at my heart ... what you are going through, what is happening all over, the brokeness that cannot be fixed.

I know you will pull through this. You are already starting to explore different paths.

You owe apologies to no one. You aren't burdening anyone ... just the opposite, you are giving vivid testimony.

Glad to see you back "on the air", because, as you say, the silence of empty houses can be deafening, but truly wish it was all different.

Fran said...

Hi E ~ Sorry to hear so much is snowballing all at once. Sometimes life is like that, and you just have to grind through it.
I do know they realized the reason why the housing projects in big cities failed is because they grouped all the struggling people together.
Having a dense concentration of the strife did not necessarily make it better, just kind of magnified the strife.
It is hard to watch a neighborhood melt away as yours did. You were up close & personal with the situation, the people, and very overwhelming to witness.
I know you worked hard- to find a place, get a working heater, fix it up, and keep it all afloat.
At some point, so much stacked up, that adding a major health issue, and lack of health care are more than 1 person can be expected to bear.
I sincerely hope you can get the help you need, are able to get out of the town or State that are not working for you.
If it were easy to make all those changes, you would have done it a while ago.
I hope things ease up for you & will hold you in the light.

enigma4ever said...

To all three of you thank you for understanding....Listening...caring...

For awhile just knowing that there were other working struggling families here....closeby did make it seem workable...that "We are all in the same Boat" -we will get through this....that "WE" part was comforting...soothing...

And you are correct that the "aloneness" is overwhelming.....and yes, deeply saddens me...and that it finally hit....

And yes, I did work so so hard to make this house liveable...fixing walls,floors,heat,painting and patching....

But the Hill is truly a mountain to face daily, so steep...painful....and to the thugs that tore apart my railing....

It's funny but that night in May when they tore it apart....A neighbor who is gone is who the called the cops...He called because of the gun shots...and when the cops came he found the railing torn apart....and Iron railing shredded and destroyed...It kind of was a turning point....

Long story short...
Changes are coming...
being made...
for my son and me...
because it is time...

I wish so much that it was NYC.....but in these times I have to move to NYC with a job...or two...
especially to get 6-6 on his path...and that is what saddens me most...I have spent so many years telling him it will be okay...that there is an end in sight...that Things will get Better....

But I no longer know When or Where Better is....

fallenmonk said...

Glad to hear your voice again. Sorry to hear that things are not going better. There are many of us struggling, some more than others. Just try to keep in mind that there are those who care and will help where and how we can. We will keep you in our thoughts and send as much positive energy as we can.
Namaste

enigma4ever said...

thankyou monk...
I appreciate that..
I know that you too know and hear what I am saying....it is our story of this place in time for so many of us....that the struggle is very real...I pray and hope for all of us.....that better days are ahead....

namaste....

( thank you for blogging all these years...it's amazing how reading a good post about the garden can lift one's spirits.....)

grateful as always....

Fran said...

Hi E ~ It sounds like you are in a major transition, but once you do get settled, know that there are tons of college monies & grants out there for your son.
He may need to scale down his expectations.
A community college w programs he likes may be the compromise.
Once you move, check out community college offerings & hit up the financial advisor.
Don't be in the all or nothing mindset either.... little scholarships of $500 or $1000 add up & every little bit helps.
Find out how long you must be a resident in any given State to qualify for resident status.
Non resident rates are often double the cost.
Once you have gathered the basic info (mostly parent income info), it should be relatively easy to just go on an application blitz.
Apply like crazy... because one thing for sure, if you don't apply you will for sure not get the $.
The other thing is in Community College, you actually get a real prof, at the big spendy University, you often get Grad Students teaching. You pay more for less essentially.

I'm just saying this to give you a glimmer of hope, because it is clear you feel bad about the college situation.

I know your plate is full & you are overwhelmed with where to even begin.
I can imagine how it felt when everything was crumbling to have the final straw.... the hand railing ripped off. You probably had that moment of thinking... what next.... Locusts?

I've had some rough stretches, where I got to the place of not even asking "What else can go wrong", because, seriously, I did not want to know or tempt fate.

I hope you can use some programs to get emergency assistance, maybe even file for disability, or subsidized housing.
I know because we are in hard times, all those programs are maxxed out-- housing a 2 year waitlist, and disability claims usually do drag out for a few years too.
But check out assist programs & see if you can't do a blitz there as well.
Not just Government programs- places like Goodwill, Red Cross & St. Vinnies have some programs as well.
There are lifelines out there- and I know there is lots of bureaucratic red tape to cut through... but there are different entities to tap into. I hope you can get the help you need, and things settle down & get better for you.

nancydrew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kathy said...

Glad to have you back on the air. When someone goes missing for awhile, the worst is assumed to be a big catastrophe, but often it is all the little ones that add up and up and up. (Or rather weigh down and down and down).
Just know you were missed, and are glad to be welcomed back.
Namaste,
Smirkitty

enigma4ever said...

thankyou SmirkKitty...Kathy...
it just built up...this is it in a nutshell....it was a bit more complicated....but this is the best I can explain it...and come to terms with it...thankyou for understanding and caring...I really didn't think I would be missed...or that I would be silent this long...

namaste...

tom said...

Holy COW boy did I MISS you
Yo big Red, these ARE hard times, but you have FREINDS, true we are an assmebledge of 0s and 1s but we are here and CARE deeply about you and you son.
These ARE shitty times, (ok very shitty) but perhaps we can all dig up a little light hmmm let's see..
ok, still thinking...

ok, Prop 8 died
Arizona judge calls bullshit on anti immigrant law
and the SUN STILL RISES
remember dear gal, the old Irish Saying
"every day above ground is a good day"

Love you miss you
IrishAmericanTom
in Seattle

Pink Granite said...

Thank you for bearing witness.
Thank you for taking the time and energy to explain so much to us.
I agree with so much of what my fellow commenters have written.

May I be so bold as to suggest a "tip jar" in your side bar? PayPal has a widget.
You write and blog and Tweet out of your passion and compassion, but practicality has its place too.

Just as it is true in the real world, in this fascinating virtual world it is important say please and thank you and leave a little something in the tip jar in appreciation of goodness and kindness.

Wishing you and your son all good things.
- Lee

Anon-Paranoid said...

Enigma my sweet rose...

I am so sorry to hear about the difficulties you and 6'6" are having and glad to hear from you.

I thought that perhaps you were working on your book, however I was a little worried that you had not posted anything for a long time.

I just noticed last week how long it was and was going to email you just to check in and see if you were alright.

I sincerely hope and pray that things turn around for you and 6'6" shortly.

I too have been having a difficult time as well. Our department was slated for closing, however I believe the union stopped it since they were not following procedure to closing it.

It appeared that we would at least have another year and then if we didn't come in in the black by the end of June 2011 the department would be closed.

They have to get approval from the board before they can eliminate our department and I think that they will do that sometime in the Spring.

In the mean time they have moved our location to another area in the county and the department has been cut by two positions.

Two tech's will go to our new supervisor's area and be trained to move out to a location possibly in the next fiscal year.

Originally we all were told that all four of us would get training, though I knew that both myself and the other tech left in the shop more than likely would not.

It turned out that I was correct and now I already know that I will lose my job at the end of this fiscal year.

So we went from seven employee's which includes myself, one other tech, the delivery person, secretary and department supervisor.

Since I needed two full year yet to receive full SS Benefits this really hurts me.

Also I have already told my landlord that when my current lease is up I would have to move since I would no longer be able to afford the rent here.

Short of hitting the lottery for a low sum of a hundred thousand dollars to purchase a small house I'm not sure if I will be able to afford the rents on apartment of houses for rent here in my state.

Though I have a little money saved its not enough to outright buy a home and at 65 I don't believe that a bank would give me a mortgage.

So like you in so many ways I can only hope and pray that things turn out better in the future than the prospects currently look.

Good luck and I hope things go well for the both of you.

Take care and ...

God Bless you.


Anon Paranoid

Nasa Images said...

Hope you would add my blog. Thanks a lot. Keep blogging....

Love your blog and you are added :) Keep up the good work and thanks for the kinds words. -- Kristen

enigma4ever said...

Kristen:
Someone else from NASA already contacted me a while back-and I did add Nasa Images in two places to blogroll.Thank you for making contact.

AnonP:
I am so sorry for all that you are going through. I know all of us are facing challenges and changes, I wish I could help, you know that. I truly hope for the best for you and your cats.Please take good care and know that I can only offer my hopes, light and prayers...namaste.

Pink Granite-
Thank you very much for your thoughts and your wisdom. I will think about how to look at all options and I had never thought of adding paypal, I guess I always was just grateful that people took the time to read what I write or wrote. But I will think on it long and hard.

Irish Tom in Seattle:
thank you as always for being upbeat,positive and making me laugh. yes, these are indeed shitty times, and truly we all have done through them before and we will get through. I will keep on Keeping On-you know that.

To everyone I say thank you, but at this point I just need to get through.....and examine and keep trying all options...and that is what I will do, but I am grateful for your patience, wisdom and insights.

Nasa Images said...

Hi enigma4ever

Thanks for your reply. But i can't see my blog in your list.

I am maintaining my blog for the young generations, and for researchers who needs the current news on space.

Will you add.?

enigma4ever said...

Kirsten:
I added it in the spring due to numerous persistant requests by another member of your team-I really don't remember which blogroll I put your blog,even being ordered/dictated over and over WHERE they wanted the blog listed. I do appreciate your efforts and your blog, but at this point I will be honest, I am not updating my blogrolls, I am sure you are there somewhere. I have other concerns at this point. If you read my post you would know that.

As I received numerous emails about this very issue last spring re. Blogroll from your site, I hope this is not the start of continued dialogue on what your Website is demanding from me-just a blogger.

enigma4ever said...

Dear Kirsten-NASA images:
I checked the blogrolls for you- I have you in the very top section-just as your partner requested, it is under Space Shuttle Imaging- the very name of your blog-again as your partner requested. I used the name your partner requested AND put it in the section that was requested.

* I did not use NASA in the Blog listing as I also recieved notice from NASA that your blog is NOT a NASA blog, and also I was informed is not associated with the actual Space Shuttle.

In the future-please realize there is a difference between making friendly requests, and being pushy, and bossy, it is not really good Blogland manners. It is better to let bloggers choose and create their own blogrolls.

In 7 Years of blogging I have never demanded anyone Blogroll and specify where Blog is to be placed, for that would sound Attention seeking, and be less than respectful to other Blog Hosts. I hope that makes sense. Good Luck with your blog, and I appreciate that you too work on your blog, as we all do on ours.

** Another unspoken but well known rule in Blogland is that people Blogroll in reciporcal fashion-and only when both parties want to be on each others blogrolls.In spring request was made of me-I obliged-but I also notice that I was not added to the SpaceShuttle blog. Which is fine, even though that was what was originally emailed, I let it go,realizing that your Blogrolls were indeed less detailed than mine.

If there continue to be demands as to placement etc. I will remove your blog from the blogroll as I have been more than accomodating and respectful.

Fran said...

Hi E ~ Just stopping by. Hope you are well.
How about a new rule? No more asking to be added to your blog roll.... like you said- if you READ the post, you are having a difficult time & lots of stress right now.

Come on people, show some compassion & respect.

Roofs for Rainbows said...

You, my dear friend, are a true inspiration. I feel your pain, and thank you for sharing. I was not quite sure where in life I was. Sharing your most private thoughts and fears, I now know. My heart and hugs are with you!! Leesa aka viequesbound

enigma4ever said...

Fran...
yeah..NEW RULE...no more adding to blogroll..got other things on my mind...priorities..sigh...thank you as always..wise lady that you are...

Roofs....Leesa..
thank you so much...I know all of us are going through changes and challenges right now...and I guess taking stock and getting re-balanced...adjusted is fine...but it's been a rough couple of years hasnt it....many hugs as you go through your changes too....
I am here if you need anything at all..

Border Explorer said...

I also noticed your absence and was concerned about what it meant. I'm sorry for the trials and challenges you're facing. Your heart is great; your compassionate for the downtrodden is evident. I wish for all good things for you. I'm hopeful that your reappearance of late is a good sign. Hugs!

Jolly Roger said...

Things are going to happen here, and they are going to be ugly. The 1% has lost all sense of shame, as they try to wring every last dime out of us.

People of all political stripes are completely fed up. We are at a tipping point. Sadly, our so-called "representatives" don't have a clue ablout life out here, and they don't care.

Unless things change, they will care. Too late.

Renegade Eye said...

I'm at loss for words.

The part of the post, about how you kept an optimistic outlook was true.

I always admired you, and I do more now.

OT: In Minnesota there was a nurses strike. They won most of their demands, and gave no concessions.

Celia Harrison said...

I understand having a chronic illness and trying to keep working as a nurse. I have CFS/ME and for twenty years had to change to part time or work agency so I could see how I was on a given day. Sometimes I would feel better and work full time, then crash again becoming very ill. Twice I had to take several months off. Twice I ended up admitted to the unit I worked in. I worked dizzy, not knowing how I was going to stay upright, nauseous, and in severe pain. I had a low grade temp for over two years. The joke was we never called a doctor with a fever unless it was higher than mine. People often said I was sicker than a lot of the patients. I worked in critical care. My doctors asked if I wanted to go on disability. I said no I wanted to work, they put me on prednisone(not a good idea for CFS)and pain meds. I ended up addicted to narcotics. I went to treatment and went back to work. I then tried different specialties and even travel nursing with weeks off between assignments. Then I found information about nutritional supplements that help CFS/ME and I had learned how to manage the syndrome better as more information was available. I got better. I went to Alaska, got workplace bullied(and a lot more), ended up with PTSD and became very ill with CFS/ME again. I am on disability and not happy about it. I want to go back to work, but how crazy it that, CFS is essentially a form of acquired immune deficiency and standing on my feet all day will make me sick as well. My pain is so much better now. I am exploring options for my future, but I know I will be OK if I can't work. There has been a new discovery so I have some hope of some help, but I know the research can't happen in time for me I am 55. I feel fortunate that I have a decent place to live and food knowing what others are going through in this world, so I don't feel deprived. I found your post very moving. So many have had so much heartbreak. I enjoyed your post for it's stark truth which is so refreshing. I am wishing you good things in your future because you deserve them.

enigma4ever said...

Celia-
I am very moved by what you wrote and have been through....so much struggle and great determination and courage. Myalgic Encephaloyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, are two conditions that need much more research and better care, as you well know. I encourage you to keep writing and to keep journals ,and maybe to be part of the process that allows people to better understand and learn about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I worked for many years with AIDS and HIV patients- and truly with that Disease the Patients in a very real way were a part of the driving force making sure that they got improved care, meds and research. Sadly CFS needs people like you to document your condition and keep journals to help the research, and also understanding of this disease process.It matters.
I pray for you and that you have the care and help you need there for you....much Light my friend.

Renegade....
Thank you for being there...I too have always admired your work and writings, even when we have not agreed, I have always been inspired by your writing and your courage in saying what needed to be said....This is a hard time, and it was hard to write this particular post, but it needed to be written. My son and I will get through these times, it will be different path than we had planned, or expected, but we will survive. Alot of people are struggling right now.....we are far from alone.It will be ok....I just don't quite know when or how....but we will get there...

Jolly Roger:
I do hear you and worry that many in DC do not have a clue what it is like "OUT HERE"...And sadly yes there is alot of angst, unrest, and anger and pain, and if it is not handled right or acknowledged it could mean trouble, and at some point it must be acknowledged and Problemsolving must acknowledge ALL that We the People have been through in the past 10 years, no sugar coating, no glossing over, and no running away from what has happened to this Country.

On Some level it must be acknowledged that creating Two Poorly Managed Wars and much Gifting to the Rich has damaged this country in a criminal corrupt way. There must be criminal charges against the Bush Regime at some point- as they Broke this Country- Our Country in every way possible.I believe that in every bone in my body, the damage is all around me every day, from VETS with PTSD to watching hardworking folks lose their homes....

People say that Politics doesn't matter...they are wrong, when Politics and Decisions made in DC impact Millions of Lives....it does matter, more than anyone can measure.

So Jolly I say thank you for caring and understanding, I also say to please don't lose Hope that Right will prevail....hold dear to that Hope and nurture it...We need more people to see Care, and have Compassion and Insight....

Many of us Voted for change, but DC is still a very corrupt dirty place...we all know that now...

mommapolitico said...

All of my prayers and good thoughts are coming your way, Girlfriend. So sorry that you are in such difficult circumstances, but glad to hear from you nonetheless, as I was worried about you, your family, and your strong voice missing from the blogosphere. Keep fighting the good fight, and know that your presence here makes a difference to a lot of people who care about you out here in the intertubes. Take care, Girlie.

Sewmouse said...

Oh sweetie - *HUG*

I'm as sorry as can be about your latest round of troubles - Please remember, however, just like the Great Depression - this too shall pass.

I've missed your updates, your tweets - your presence, and I'm glad to hear your "voice" even though the news is not the best.

You'll be in my heart and thoughts - the both of you. And if you do ever need to talk - you have my e-mail, and I'll gladly give you a phone# as well if you wish.

*hugs again*

Dr. Know said...

Hi, Allie,

Long time, no see! Glad to see you're still around, but I am also saddened to see the state of not only your existance, but of so many others.

I watch in horror as people rabidly vascillate between the two predominant parties - as if something is going to change either way - while their livelyhoods, life's works, and hopes and dreams are all discarded as so much hogwash by those who remain indifferent to, or even profit from, their misery.

Our government has long been controlled by the most foul of rogues and profiteers who haven't a minutia of honor or concern for those who elect them. One only has to look at our history of involvment with, for example, Guatamala, Mayanmar, or Iraq to see that everything that occurs in this country is now about accomodating the profiteering bastards of the top 2 percent.

It's long past time the US had it's own version of Bastille Day - removing power from the hands of the world bankers and traitorous, perfidious politicians - and placing where it belongs: the welfare of the American public at large. Fat chance, eh?

Take care,
Greg

MandT said...

We are most often silent, carrying as do you the immense struggle of surviving, aging and illness without insurance, but we know and take courage in the fact that you are there, an amazing woman and mother and we send you our love.....MandT at adgitadiaries

Rusty Shackleford said...

Its Bush's fault....that son of a bitch.

I hope Obama can get us out of this.

Mark Prime said...

Allie,
I am so glad that you contacted me on facebook, it was a pleasure seeing you again.

Your spirit is alive and well.

Peace my dear friend... peace.